Doc Love: Do Second Chances Ever Work?
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This week, Doc Love, author of "The System," coaches a reader on the hard truths of lost interest."Eventually she said the dreaded words: “I need time to figure out what I want and to be myself for a while.”"
I faithfully follow your articles and know you have fantastic advice. Sometimes it’s harsh and hardly ever what a guy wants to hear, but I know it’s always true.
Anyway, Ali and I had been together for a year and a half. Her Interest Level was absolutely through the roof because I used Challenge to great effect. She was constantly talking about how crazy in love with me she was, saying I was “the one” and bringing up marriage and kids at least once a week, although I thought we should take things slow and not rush into anything. After dating for a year she thought it would be a great idea to move in together. I badly wanted to, but I knew that based on your advice it might just be too soon. When she begged and pleaded and got upset, I gave in and didn’t stand my ground like I should have, mostly because I got caught up in my own Interest Level. By the way, at this time I thought for sure this was the girl I would one day marry and spend my life with. I was crazy about her too.
Almost immediately I saw a change for the worse. I enjoyed living with Ali and thought we were getting closer. However, I noticed her interest fading. I worked a lot and she spent a lot of time at home by herself. I could tell she was getting lonely. Even though I tried to make enough time for her, she still craved more than I could ever give. To fill the gap she started talking to friends. One was a guy who she swore (and I really believed) was nothing more than a friend. I have a lot of friends who are girls, so I figured that Ali was allowed to have guy friends, too.
One day, after coming back from an outing with friends, Ali cried for hours and confessed that she and the guy had kissed and nothing more. She said she felt bad because for a split second she had felt something for him but immediately turned that feeling off. I thought that this was most likely only a fraction of the true story. After she begged and pleaded, I chose to let it go. I didn’t want to ruin our entire relationship because of one stupid mistake.
After that, things were good again and I honestly don’t know how she could have possibly been any sweeter, more giving or a better girlfriend. I truly thought her Interest Level was at 99%. Maybe I got busy or just failed to keep watch, but somewhere along the line it dropped down after a few months. Eventually she said the dreaded words: “I need time to figure out what I want and to be myself for a while.” She claimed it was too much work trying to get my attention. She recently moved out and is living on her own.
Doc, I feel like I had “the one” and I know I made a mistake with the maintenance, but looking back, I really have to wonder what I could have done to make it better. I have two questions. How do you ever keep things exciting and keep her Interest Level up when you live together or get so close? It seems near impossible to use Challenge in a relationship like this. Secondly, should I try again to make this work with Ali or forget her and move on? She claims she feels we are still meant to be and hopes we can refuel our fire together. She calls all the time and I do actually feel a spark coming back, but the big elephant in the room is that we separated, and from what I understand once Interest Level has dropped so low it’s gone forever.
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